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Calendar No. 620
109th Congress Report
2d Session 109-340
NORTH AMERICAN WETLANDS CONSERVATION REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2006
September 20, 2006.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Inhofe, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany S. 3617]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was
referred a bill (S. 3617) to reauthorize the North American
Wetlands Conservation Act, having considered the same, reports
favorably thereon and recommends that the bill do pass.
General Statement and Background
The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA)
(Public Law 101-233), enacted December 13, 1989, provided
funding and administrative direction for implementation of the
North American Waterfowl Management Plan and the Tripartite
Agreement on wetlands between Canada, the United States and
Mexico. The Act converted the Pittman-Robertson account into a
trust fund, with the interest available without appropriation
through the year 2006 to carry out the programs authorized by
the Act, along with an authorization for an annual
appropriation of $15 million plus an amount equal to the fines
and forfeitures collected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Available funds may be expended, upon approval of the
Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, for payment of not to
exceed 50 percent of the United States share of the cost of
wetlands conservation projects in Canada, Mexico, or the United
States (or 100 percent of the cost of projects on Federal
lands). At least 50 percent and no more than 70 percent of the
funds received are to go to projects in Canada and Mexico each
NAWCA also created a North American Wetlands Conservation
Council to recommend projects to be funded under the Act to the
Migratory Bird Conservation Commission. The Council is composed
of the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the
Secretary of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a State
fish and game agency director from each Flyway, and three
representatives of different non-profit organizations
participating in projects under the Plan or the Act. The
Chairman of the Council and one other member serve ex officio
on the Commission for consideration of the Council's
recommendations. The Commission must justify in writing to the
Council and, annually, to Congress, any decisions not to accept
NAWCA's matching grants are awarded to organizations and
individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out
wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada,
and Mexico for the benefit of wetlands-associated migratory
birds and other wildlife.
There is a Standard and a Small Grants Program. Both are
competitive grants programs and require that grant requests be
matched by partner contributions at no less than a 1-to-1
ratio. Funds from other U.S. Federal sources may contribute
towards a project, but are not eligible as matching funds.
The Standard Grants Program supports projects in Canada,
the United States, and Mexico that involve long-term
protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands and
associated uplands habitats. In Mexico, partners may also
conduct projects involving technical training, environmental
education and outreach, organizational infrastructure
development, and sustainable-use studies.
The Small Grants Program operates only in the United
States; it supports the same type of projects and adheres to
the same selection criteria and administrative guidelines as
the U.S. Standard Grants Program. However, project activities
are usually smaller in scope and involve fewer project dollars.
Grant requests may not exceed $75,000, and funding priority is
given to grantees or partners new to the Act's Grants Program.
Public Law 103-375, enacted on October 19, 1994,
reauthorized the law through fiscal year 1998 and increased the
authorization for appropriations to $20 million per year for
1995 and 1996 and $30 million per year through 1998. The
amendment also acknowledged the role of Mexico in plan
preparation and project selection and implementation and
recognized that projects carried out in Mexico could include
cash contributions from non-U.S. sources.
Public Law 105-312, enacted on October 30, 1998, again
reauthorized the law and extended funding authority at the
current level of $30 million per year through fiscal year 2003.
Public Law 106-553, December 21, 2000, changed $30 million to
$50 million. Public Law 107-308, December 2, 2002, the North
American Wetlands Conservation Reauthorization Act, increased
the authorization for appropriations to $55 million in 2003,
$60 million in 2004, $65 million in 2005, $70 million in 2006,
and $75 million in 2007.
In fiscal year 2006, Congress appropriated $39.4 million to
fund NAWCA's Grants Program. Additional funding comes from
fines, penalties, and forfeitures received under the Migratory
Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and from interest accrued on the fund
established under the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act
of 1937. Amendments to the Federal Aid in Sport Fish
Restoration Act of 1950 directed that a portion of the moneys
collected from Federal fuel excise taxes on small gasoline
engines be allocated for use under the Act for coastal
ecosystem projects. The total funding from all sources for FY
2006 is $66.1 million. The Administration's FY 2007
appropriation request was $41.6 million.
From September 1990 through June 2006, more than 3,150
partners have been involved in 1,556 Standard and Small Grants
Programs' projects combined. More than $742 million in Act
grants has leveraged some $1.5 billion in matching funds and
$809.5 million in nonmatching funds to affect approximately 23
million acres of wetlands and associated uplands across the
Objectives of the Legislation
S. 3617 reauthorizes NAWCA through fiscal year 2012 at the
FY 2007 funding level of $75 million.
Section 1. Short title
This section provides that this Act may be cited as the
``North American Wetlands Conservation Reauthorization Act of
Sec. 2. Authorization of appropriations
This amends section 7(c)(5) of the North American Wetlands
Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 4406(c)(5)) by striking ``fiscal
year 2007'' and inserting ``each of fiscal years 2007 through
On June 29, 2006, Senator Inhofe introduced S. 2041, which
was cosponsored by Senators Jeffords, Chafee, Lincoln, Crapo,
Nelson of Nebraska, Cornyn, Craig, Cochran, Baucus, Stevens and
Vitter. The bill was received, read twice and referred to the
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The committee
met on September 13, 2006, to consider the bill. S. 3617 was
ordered favorably reported by voice vote.
No committee hearings were held on S. 3617.
The Committee on Environment and Public Works met to
consider S. 3617 on September 13, 2006. The bill was ordered
favorably reported by voice vote. No rollcall votes were taken.
Regulatory Impact Statement
In compliance with section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee finds that S. 3617
does not create any additional regulatory burdens, nor will it
cause any adverse impact on the personal privacy of
In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
(Public Law 104-4), the committee finds that S. 3617 would not
impose Federal intergovernmental unfunded mandates on State,
local, or tribal governments.
Cost of Legislation
Section 403 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment
Control Act requires that a statement of the cost of the
reported bill, prepared by the Congressional Budget Office, be
included in the report. That statement follows:
S. 3617, North American Wetlands Conservation Reauthorization Act of
2006, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on
Environment and Public Works on September 13, 2006
S. 3617 would authorize the appropriation of $75 million a
year for programs carried out under the North American Wetlands
Conservation Act (NAWCA) through fiscal year 2012. Under
existing law, the authority for such appropriations will expire
at the end of fiscal year 2007. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service (USFWS) uses amounts appropriated under NAWCA primarily
for grants to State, local, and tribal governments, nonprofit
organizations, and other entities that carry out wetlands
CBO estimates that appropriation of the amounts authorized
by S. 3617 would result in outlays of $175 million over the
2008-2011 period. (An additional $200 million would be spent
after 2011, including $75 million that would be authorized for
2012.) Enacting this legislation would not affect direct
spending or revenues.
S. 3617 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)
and would impose no costs on State, local, or tribal
Estimated Cost to the Federal Government
The estimated budgetary impact of S. 3617 is shown in the
following table. The costs of this legislation fall within
budget function 300 (natural resources and environment). For
this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 3617 will be enacted during
fiscal year 2007 and that the entire $75 million authorized
will be appropriated for each fiscal year beginning in 2008.
Estimated outlays are based on historical spending patterns for
By Fiscal Year, in Millions of Dollars
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
NAWCA Spending Under Current Law................................
Budget Authority/Authorization Level\1\..................... 40 75 0 0 0 0
Estimated Outlays........................................... 35 39 37 30 19 11
Authorization Level......................................... 0 0 75 75 75 75
Estimated Outlays........................................... 0 0 20 40 50 65
NAWCA Spending Under S. 3617....................................
Budget Authority/Authorization Level........................ 40 75 75 75 75 75
Estimated Outlays........................................... 35 39 57 70 69 77
\1\The 2006 level is the amount appropriated for that year under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.
The 2007 level is the amount authorized under current law for that year.
Intergovernmental and Private-Sector Impact
S. 3617 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined UMRA. Enacting this legislation would
benefit State, local, and tribal governments because they
receive a portion of the funds authorized.
Previous CBO Estimate
On August 8, 2006, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R.
5539, the North American Wetlands Conservation Reauthorization
Act of 2006, as ordered reported by the House Committee on
Resources on July 19, 2006. H.R. 5539 and S. 3617 are very
similar, and the estimated costs of the two pieces of
legislation are identical.
Estimate Prepared By: Federal Costs: Deborah Reis; Impact
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Marjorie Miller;
Impact on the Private Sector: Amy Petz.
Estimate Approved By: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant
Director for Budget Analysis.
Changes in Existing Law
In compliance with section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing
Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by the bill
as reported are shown as follows: Existing law proposed to be
omitted is enclosed in [black brackets], new matter is printed
in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown
NORTH AMERICAN WETLANDS CONSERVATION ACT
* * * * * * *
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
* * *
* * * * * * *
SEC. 7. AMOUNTS AVAILABLE TO CARRY OUT THIS ACT.
(a) * * *
* * * * * * *
(c) Authorization of Appropriations.--In addition to the
amounts made available under subsections (a) and (b) of this
section, there are authorized to be appropriated to the
Department of the Interior for purposes of allocation under
section 8 of this Act not to exceed--
(1) * * *
* * * * * * *
(5) $75,000,000 for [fiscal year 2007] each of
fiscal years 2007 through 2012.
* * * * * * *